Occidental's Elk Hills operations exemplify the company's focus on acquiring large, long-lived properties and applying advanced recovery techniques to increase production in these mature fields.
Located in the southern portion of the San Joaquin Valley, Elk Hills – the former U.S. National Strategic Petroleum Reserve – is one of the largest oil and natural gas fields in the United States. Occidental's majority interest in the Elk Hills Field anchors Occidental's position as California's largest producer of natural gas and largest oil and gas producer on a gross-operated barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) basis.
Occidental purchased the Department of Energy's interest in the Elk Hills Field from the U.S. government in 1998. Since the purchase, cumulative production from the Elk Hills Unit and other acquisitions in adjacent areas is over 515 million net BOE as of year-end 2013, from both conventional and unconventional resources. The Elk Hills Field has a large portfolio of exploration and development opportunities to be exploited in the future.
In 2012, Occidental commissioned a state-of-the-art cryogenic gas processing plant at Elk Hills with capacity of 200 million cubic feet per day. The new cryogenic plant has dramatically increased natural gas liquids recoveries from the daily gas production.
Occidental's California shale program began at Elk Hills. Building on more than a decade of knowledge and expertise gained from exploring and producing the Elk Hills Field's shale zones, Occidental continues to expand the program to additional California assets, including properties in the Los Angeles, Ventura and San Joaquin basins.
Elk Hills has been awarded the California Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) Outstanding Lease Award for multiple consecutive years. The company also has been recognized for outstanding environmental stewardship by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Conservation, the California Climate Action Registry, the Wildlife Habitat Council's and other organizations. In 2013, Occidental received the Wildlife Habitat Council Wildlife at Work three-year re-certification for the Elk Hills Conservation Area. Elk Hills' environmental programs and initiatives include the preservation of endangered species habitats, emissions reduction, waste minimization and recycling, and cultural resource preservation.